The median salaries of full-time employed residents under the occupational group of "Craftsmen and Related Trades Workers" is S$2,700, while their average salary is S$3,100, according to Manpower Minister Tan See Leng in a written reply in Parliament on Nov. 22.
Their median age is 56 years and their average age is 53 years, he added.
This occupational group covers a "wide range of trades" which requires varying levels of skill, and encompasses the following professions:
In total, there are 53,000 residents and 133,000 non-residents employed under this particular occupational group.
Demand trends for skilled workers differ across trades
Tan was responding to questions posed by Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Gerald Giam about the current number of skilled tradesmen working in Singapore, the breakdown of these workers by Singaporeans, permanent residents and foreigners, the average and median salaries, and the trend of demand for such workers in future.
In his reply, Tan said that demand trends for skilled workers differ across trades.
Some trades, such as plumbing and electrical works, provide essential services and will always be in demand, even though the nature of these jobs will evolve as technology augments various tasks.
There are programmes to ensure a "sustainable pipeline" of local workers for skilled trades
Giam also asked about the outcome of the government's efforts in attracting young people to such jobs.
Tan replied that there are various learning and training programmes in place to develop a sustainable pipeline of locals for skilled trades.
He cited the Institute of Technical Education's (ITE) entry-level ITE Skills Certificate courses in Electrical Wiring and Residential Plumbing, and related part-time Nitec and Higher Nitec courses for adult learners in these fields as an example.
In addition, there are also training institutions offering upskilling courses, including courses funded by SkillsFuture Singapore, for mid-career tradespeople.
Such institutions include the Building and Construction Authority’s BCA Academy and the Singapore Institute of Power and Gas.
People must be willing to reward tradespeople who have honed their skills
Tan also said that a "whole-of-society" approach is required to better recognise the "diverse" contributions of tradespeople whose services are essential to daily lives.
He added, "Consumers and employers must also be willing to fairly reward tradespeople who have honed their skills to provide high quality services."
The government is also working with the the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), industry associations and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to develop new initiatives to professionalise skilled trades, under the Forward Singapore movement.
Such initiatives include offering clearer career and skills progression ladders, with details of other initiatives to be announced at a later date.
Top left photo via Singapore Plumbing Society/Facebook, right photo via BCA/Facebook